Why Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen Lied To Congress

  The Daily Podcast / The New York Times (11/30/18) Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer, has pleaded guilty to lying about Mr. Trump’s business ties to Russia and has agreed to cooperate with the special counsel investigation. It’s the second time this week that a subject of the inquiry has been charged with lying. On today’s episode: Michael S. Schmidt, who has been covering the special counsel investigation for The New York Times. Background reading: Mr. Cohen admitted on Thursday to making false statements to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, and about Mr. Trump’s involvement in…


Empire Files: Randy Credico Exclusive Tell-All With Abby Martin On Trump Pal Roger Stone & Wikileaks

  Empire Files (11/28/18) In this exclusive extended interview, Randy Credico tells his side of the story on his role in the Russia investigation, his upcoming interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and true nature of his relationship with Trump campaign advisor Roger Stone. With never before revealed details about Roger Stone and the Mueller investigation, Credico details his long-standing ties to the political operative and answers the hard questions about his alleged coordination with Wikileaks. The interview highlights the larger context of the multi-front assault on Julian Assange, Wikileaks and the future of press freedom. Link to 44-Minute Video


With ‘Unlimited Funds to Lie,’ Insurance Industry & Corporate Democrats Gear Up To Kill Off Medicare For All

  By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (11/21/18) Medicare for All is rapidly surging in popularity among the American public and gaining momentum in Congress, but private insurance interests and Big Pharma have no intention of giving up their immensely profitable stranglehold on the U.S. healthcare system without a fight. According to strategy documents obtained by The Intercept and the watchdog group Documented, the private healthcare industry is working aggressively alongside corporate Democrats to spread anti-single payer propaganda and “minimize the potential” for Medicare for All as an alternative to the current for-profit status quo. Directed by former Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton staffers and leading insurance industry lobbyists, an…


Free & Open Press? Mmm, Not So Much In The World Of American Corporate Media

Jim Hightower in LaCrosse, Wisconsin for a 2016 campaign event. Free The Free Press From Wall Street Plunderers Texas populist Jim Hightower’s columns have been distributed by Creators Syndicate for a decade—but the agency said they had to take a pass on this one. “The big, hedge-fund owned newspaper chains that Hightower calls out in his column are big customers of theirs, and as such, they don’t want to risk offending them,” says Hightower assistant Melody Byrd (Corporate Crime Reporter, 11/29/18). “While Creators’ reluctance to anger these powerful interests is somewhat understandable, the implications are frightening. It’s one more example of this dangerous time…


Russian Trolls Prey Upon & Pry Open The Toxic Way We Do Our Politics

  By Rafael Behr The Guardian (11/13/18) To understand the current political frenzy on both sides of the Atlantic, it helps to know Tortuous Convolvulus. Unfamiliar with his work? Convolvulus was a spy, operating around 50BC, a specialist in psychological warfare. He was deployed by Julius Caesar against a stubborn Gallic rebellion, and his methods were not so different to those of Russian cyber-saboteurs against western democracies. It is worth adding that Convolvulus is a character from Asterix and the Roman Agent, a book known to most English readers in translation by Anthea Bell. The sad news of Bell’s death last month triggered many…


Meet The Russian KGB Spies Who Invented Fake News

A never ending, exhausting game of Whack-A-Mole The New York Times (11/19/18) In Episode 1 of Operation InfeKtion, we reveal how one of the biggest fake news stories ever concocted — the 1984 AIDS-is-a-biological-weapon hoax — went viral in the pre-Internet era. Meet the KGB cons who invented it, and the “truth squad” that quashed it. For a bit. Read the story here: www.nytimes.com/disinformation Link to 15-Minute Video ***** The Seven Commandments Of Russian Disinformation Fake News  The New York Times (11/20/18) Episode 2, Operation InfeKtion: The Pizzagate Playbook — same tactics, new technologies. How the seven rules of Soviet…


‘Corporate Greed At Its Worst’: After Reaping $514 Million From GOP Tax Scam & Billions In Public Subsidies, GM To Fire Nearly 15,000 Workers

  Sweet Deal! By Julia Conley Common Dreams (11/26/18) Tax justice and labor advocates were among those who expressed outrage Monday at the news that General Motors—one of the corporate giants that benefited immensely from the Republican tax plan last year—would cut 15 percent of its workforce, shuttering production facilities in three states as well as Canada to trim costs. The auto maker is closing five plants in Ohio, Michigan, Maryland, and Ontario, with plans to cut thousands of office jobs in January—slashing a total of 14,700 jobs. The move comes less than a year after the Republican Party pushed through its…


Deadly Disparity: Who Controls The World’s Wealth?

While 30,000 people a day die of starvation. Ralph Nader Radio Hour (11/24/18) Peter Philips, author of the recently published book “Giant: The Global Power Elite”, reveals the handful of people who control the world’s wealth and maintain the yawning and deadly disparity of opportunity and resources crippling billions around the globe. This important book has garnered no coverage or interviews in the mainstream press. — even public broadcasting. Please forward on to your contacts. Interview begins at the 40-minute mark. Link to Audio


It’s More Than A Matter Of Nancy Pelosi: Heart Of House Dems Is On The Line

  Will it be the corporate dems or the dems representing the rights & future of the people?   By Norman Solomon Reader Supported News (11/28/19) When Democrats take control of the House in early January, they’ll have two kinds of leadership – one from the top of the party’s power pyramid, the other from its base. With formal control, Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer can brandish huge carrots and sticks to keep Democratic lawmakers in line. With grassroots support, a growing number of those lawmakers can – and should – strategically step out of line to fight for progressive…


Labor’s Challenge To The New Democrats In Congress

  By Leo Gerard OurFuture.org (11/21/18) In his victory speech on election night, U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb said he would always remember the union members who helped him defeat two Republican incumbents in one year. “Side by side with us at each step of the way were men and women of organized labor. . .  I will never forget that. I will never forget that. Thank you,” he told a cheering crowd overflowing a ballroom at the Hilton DoubleTree, 20 miles north of Pittsburgh. In his first contest last spring, in a district that went for President Donald Trump by nearly 20 points and…


Dictionary.com’s Word Of The Year Is … ‘Misinformation’

Dictionary.com (11/26/18) The rampant spread of misinformation poses new challenges for navigating life in 2018. As a dictionary, we believe understanding the concept is vital to identifying misinformation in the wild, and ultimately curbing its impact. But what does misinformation mean? Dictionary.com defines it as “false information that is spread, regardless of whether there is intent to mislead.” The recent explosion of misinformation and the growing vocabulary we use to understand it have come up again and again in the work of our lexicographers. Over the last couple of years, Dictionary.com has been defining words and updating terms related to the evolving…


Russia Monitor: Lot’s Of News, Non-Stop Stories All Boil Down To One This … Trump Is In Trouble

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (11/29/18) Dear Fellow Readers, We’ll open with a conclusion – Trump is in trouble. If you want the short version of ‘why’, jump to the end. For anyone seeking a simple linear narrative for Trump-Russia corruption the last 48 is not that. Three big stories landed followed by a plethora of refinements, interpretations and cautions. We’ll point out what happened, why it could be important and some reasons for caution. Diving into the deep end: Mueller Has Emails From Stone Pal Corsi About WikiLeaks Dem Email Dump. Jerome Corsi is a far-right conspiracy theorist best…


The Fate Of Julian Assange & The Free Press: No Matter What You Think Of Wikileaks, The Risk To All Journalists Is Real

“A really dangerous moment.” On Contact With Chris Hedges RT (11/26/18) Chris Hedges and Joe Lauria, journalist and editor-in-chief, Consortium News, discuss efforts to force #WikiLeaks publisher, #JulianAssange, out of the Ecuador Embassy in London and extradite him to the USA to stand trial. Link to 28-Minute Video Manafort Held Multiple Secret Talks With Assange In Ecuadorian Embassy, Sources Say — Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort held secret talks with Julian Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and visited around the time he joined Trump’s campaign, the Guardian has been told. Sources have said Manafort went to see Assange in 2013, 2015 and…


Tragedy & The Promise: The History Behind American Asylum

  The Daily / The New York Times (11/27/18) As large groups of Central American migrants approach the U.S. border, the Trump administration is making it more difficult for them to apply for asylum. Is the president undermining the original concept of asylum, or is he restoring it? On today’s episode: Caitlin Dickerson, who covers immigration for The New York Times. Background reading: The temporary closing of a border crossing in Southern California became a confrontation between Central American migrants trying to enter the United States and the American and Mexican governments trying to hold them back. The discord stems, in part,…


Why? The FBI Is Massively Undercounting Hate Crimes

  Southern Poverty Law Center (11/16/18) Mulugeta Seraw was standing on a corner in Portland, Oregon, when they spotted him. It was 1988, and he was a college student from Ethiopia. His friends had dropped him off in front of his apartment, and he was standing next to their car, talking, when a group of racist skinheads affiliated with a neo-Nazi group descended. As one attacker smashed the car’s taillight and a window with a baseball bat, another punched Seraw. When his friends tried to intervene, the skinheads attacked them too, beating the black men with their fists, baseball bats…


Trump’s Gestapo: Thuggish ICE Agents Get Violent

A callous and cruel system. By Abbey Zimet Common Dreams (11/23/18) Thanksgiving weekend, but the barbarism of the Trump regime goes on apace. On Friday, plainclothes ICE officers in North Carolina ambushed and arrested Samuel Oliver-Bruno, a 47-year-old undocumented construction worker from Mexico in the U.S. for over 20 years who’s been living in the basement of a sanctuary church for 11 months while he petitions to stay here with his sick wife and teenage son. Oliver-Bruno left Durham’s CityWell United Methodist Church, part of the state’s growing faith-based sanctuary movement, for an alleged meeting with immigration officials, who told him he had to come in person to provide fingerprints for his…


Member Of White Supremacist Group Pleads Guilty To Assaults At 2017 Rally

  “Hell is truth seen too late.” — Thomas Hobbes, 1651. ***** By A.C. Thompson ProPublica (11/21/18) One of the eight members or associates of a violent California white supremacist group arrested on federal riot charges has pleaded guilty to assaulting protesters and others at a political rally in Huntington Beach, California, in 2017. Tyler Laube, 22, pleaded guilty on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in central California to a single count of conspiracy to violate the federal riots act over his role in a March 25, 2017, attack on protesters and others, including a journalist, at a Make America…


Is Steve Bannon’s Fascist European ‘Movement’ Stalled Or Just Delayed?

“Remember [Steve] Bannon’s theorem, you put  a reasonable face on right wing populism, you get elected.” — Right wing Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini The Guardian (11/21/18) Rightwing populists are on the rise across Europe. With European parliamentary elections approaching, they are being offered help from Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon. Over the last four months, the Guardian’s Paul Lewis followed his operation in Brussels, Rome and Venice – challenging Bannon over his media hype and the legality of his intervention. Link to 26-Minute Video (Illustration by Seth L. Taylor.)    


Anand Giridharadas: A Tale Of Two Americas And The Mini-mart Where They Collided

TED Talks (3/24/18) Ten days after 9/11, a shocking attack at a Texas mini-mart shattered the lives of two men: the victim and the attacker. In this stunning talk, Anand Giridharadas, author of “The True American: Murder and Mercy In Texas,” tells the story of what happened next. It’s a parable about the two paths an American life can take, and a powerful call for reconciliation. Link to 19-Minute Video


Russia Monitor: The Time To Be On The Right Side

“The pseudo-sophisticated defenders of Trump’s assaults on judges, scientists, and civil servants try to give his crude attacks a patina of respectability. But nihilism isn’t skepticism and being a know-nothing isn’t being unconventional, no matter what his defenders pretend.” — Bill Kristol tweet (11/25/18) By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (11/26/18) Dear Fellow Readers, The sides are drawn. We need to understand the battle for what it is, and be on the right side. Who better to describe the battle lines than former Trump senior adviser and campaign chairman Steve Bannon. Bannon is spending most of his time in Europe,…


Ohio Republicans Declare Motherhood “Necessary” & Want To Make It Mandatory

Clinging to — and pushing — sexist stereotypes. By Amanda Marcotte Salon (11/24/18) While the name of Brett Kavanaugh has fallen out of the headline news cycle, the religious right has not forgotten that his recent addition to the Supreme Court now means they likely have five votes to overturn Roe v. Wade and allow states to ban abortion. While the endless churn of outrageous Trump stories occupies national headlines, anti-choice activists and politicians are swiftly moving to pass laws that they clearly hope will lead, perhaps within a year, to vacating the current legal protections for abortion rights. In…


Is War Between China & The US Inevitable?

“It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable.”  — Thucydides, “History of the Peloponnesian War.” TED Talks (11/20/18) Taking lessons from a historical pattern called “Thucydides’s Trap,” political scientist Graham Allison shows why a rising China and a dominant United States could be headed towards a violent collision no one wants — and how we can summon the common sense and courage to avoid it. Link to 19-Minute Video


Handmaiden Of The Right: Hillary Clinton’s Chilling & Failed Pragmatism

You cannot outflank the right by adopting its promises, that way you only end up as its handmaiden. By Nesrine Malik Portside (11/23/18) Ever since Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump in 2016, her insistence on staying in the public eye has been viewed with a particular kind of intolerance. Some on the right have turned her into a symbol of everything they hate, to be demonised at their rallies. Others, on the left, abhor her refusal to cede space to a newer generation, hanging in the air like a bad smell, a constant memory of the moment it all went wrong….


Trump’s Chances In 2020 Are Better Than You Think

We underestimated him once. Let’s not do it again. By Matt Taibbi Rolling Stone (11/20/18) When I first heard Donald Trump on the campaign trail, I thought, “What a joke!” When I last heard Donald Trump on the campaign trail, I thought, “How long will it take for my children to learn Icelandic?” I underestimated Donald Trump once. I’ll never do it again. If Obama voters understood “change” as a genuine call to idealism, Trump voters understood it as a chair through a plate-glass window, the start of a riot. Don’t think Democrats regaining the House has any bearing on the 2020…


You Just Know This Has DNC & Their Lobbyist Pals Grinding Their Molars: Richard Ojeda Announces Run For Presidency

  Oh, let Richard Ojeda bust open the debate for the 2020 Democratic presidential campaign! It would be great to see the off-the-shelf-mass-produced corporate dems get in a debate with Ojeda. Want to hear a real progressive call to arms and restoration of some basic rights, values, security and decency in the nation? You’ll find it here but you won’t find it among the threadbare rerun democrats talking themselves up for 2020. Ojeda could be just the kind of challenger to stir up the kind of vigorous debate the democrats need if they really want to get back on track…


A Commoner Writes — Calls To Remake International Banking

  I ran into a man who was working to promote a public banking monetary  system.  Apparently this is an international movement that is gaining.  I was reminded about the concept after reading your last newsletter.  Below is an article that explains the concept decently. To Deal With Climate Change We Need A New Financial System. Glory Adams


As Snoopy Insurers Offer Discounts For Fitness Trackers, Wearers Should Step With Caution

  By Stephanie O’Neil NPR 9111/18/18) When Kathy Klute-Nelson heads out on a neighborhood walk, she often takes her two dogs — Kona, a boxer, and Max, a small white dog of questionable pedigree who barrels out the front door with barks of enthusiasm. The 64-year-old resident of Costa Mesa, Calif., says she was never one to engage in regular exercise — especially after a long day of work. But about three years ago, her employer, the Auto Club of Southern California, made her and her colleagues an offer she couldn’t refuse: Wear a Fitbit, walk every day and get…


For The Sake Of Us All: Break Up Facebook (And while we’re at it, Google, Apple and Amazon)

  By Robert Reich The Guardian (11/20/18) Last week, the New York Times revealed that Facebook executives withheld evidence of Russian activity on their platform far longer than previously disclosed. They also employed a political opposition research firm to discredit critics. There’s a larger story here. America’s Gilded Age of the late 19th century began with a raft of innovations – railroads, steel production, oil extraction – but culminated in mammoth trusts owned by “robber barons” who used their wealth and power to drive out competitors and corrupt American politics. We’re now in a second Gilded Age – ushered in by semiconductors,…


Russia Monitor: Tyrannical Moves By Tyrant Trump

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call. (11/22/18) Dear Fellow Readers, Trump believes he is above the law. Despite his shady conduct during the campaign and his often illegal behavior in the White House, so far he’s right. Will that last, will history have him as above the law? What does a single day in the Trump White House look like? In order of breaking news: 1) Trump dismisses the findings of his CIA to side with Saudi Arabia over their murder of journalist and US resident Jamal Khashoggi;  2) Trump adviser and daughter Ivanka Trump illegally (based on GOP…


We’ve Settled For A Shallow, Pallid Conception Of Democracy. And That’s Dangerous

Real freedom must be understood as freedom from both public and private coercion – a point that has been utterly forgotten by so-called libertarians, conservatives and even most neoliberals. By Tim Wu The Guardian (11/19/18) Over the last several decades, many in the west have come to accept a remarkably narrow concept of what the economy and a democracy are for. The economy exists to make us rich, or at least pay the bills. It’s thought to be working when the stock market and the GDP rise. Democracy is voting for someone who is “on your side”. The two are…


Documenting Hate: New American Nazis

  Frontline / ProPublica (11/20/18) In the wake of the deadly anti-Semitic attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, FRONTLINE and ProPublica present a new investigation into white supremacist groups in America – in particular, a neo-Nazi group, Atomwaffen Division, that has actively recruited inside the U.S. military. Continuing FRONTLINE and ProPublica’s reporting on violent white supremacists in the U.S. (which has helped lead to multiple arrests), this joint investigation shows the group’s terrorist objectives and how it gained strength after the 2017 Charlottesville rally. [Watch the first documentary in this series, August 2018’s Documenting Hate: Charlottesville, online.] Link to 54-Minute Video…


Nazis Are Gearing Up Secretive Paramilitary Training Across America

One thing stands out: The Base’s posts are largely designed to promote violent action. By Ben Makuch & Mack Lamoureux VICE (11/20/18) A neo-Nazi who goes by the alias Norman Spear has launched a project to unify online fascists and link that vast coalition of individuals into a network training new soldiers for a so-called forthcoming “race war.” Spear, who claims to be an Iraq and Afghan war veteran, is a self-proclaimed white nationalist with a significant online following. His latest act involves bringing neo-Nazis together, regardless of affiliation and ideology, into a militant fascist umbrella organization. His tool for doing this? A social network…


Why America? Gun Culture, Mass Shootings & White Nationalism Share Deep Cultural Roots

  “Capitalism tends to become fascism when it no longer has something to really offer most of the people.” Empire Files (11/12/18) Since October 2017, America experienced three of the deadliest mass shootings in modern history. This epidemic coincides with a frightening resurgence of white nationalism. Sometimes the two trends overlap. But why here? Both phenomena can be explained by a common historical thread—to unravel it Abby Martin sits down with indigenous scholar Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz to discuss her latest book “Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment”. Empire Files is now produced by your donations! Keep us going on…


When It Comes To The War Over Words Republicans Easily Defeat The Democrats

  By Ralph Nader Common Dreams (11/15/18) The Republican Party lost ground in the Congressional and state elections earlier this month, but they continue to triumph in the all-important contests over words. Republicans have been winning the “war over words” for years. First, the hard core political right wingers symbolically claimed the Bible and the American flag, turning them upside down. To them the Bible meant anything but the Golden Rule and compassion for the “poor,” so frequently noted in the Scriptures. They brandished the flag as a patriotic symbol to gag dissent, as a bandanna for waging war crimes, and…


Really Want To Save The Climate & Heal The Planet? Break Up The Big Banks

  By Oscar Reyes Inequality.org (11/9/18) A stark new United Nations climate report warns that humans have about 12 years to slash global emissions by nearly half. Unfortunately, that’s going to be extremely challenging without deep changes to the global financial system. Despite regularly claiming new commitments to “green finance,” the big banks continue to lend billions to the fossil fuel industry every year—including for the most extreme climate-damaging activities, like exploiting tar sands oils and burning coal. Continuing to invest in fossil fuels goes against all of the evidence about what needs to be done to tackle climate change. An…


The Poisoned Soil From Which The Toxic Weeds Of Fascism Creep

“Ever since Plato and Aristotle wrote on the topic, political theorists have known that democracy cannot flourish on soil poisoned by inequality…the resentments bred by such divisions are tempting targets for demagogues…Dramatic inequality poses a mortal danger to the shared reality required for a healthy liberal democracy…[such] inequality breeds delusions that mask reality, undermining the possibility of joint deliberation to solve society’s divisions. (pp.76-77) ***** “Under conditions of stark economic inequality, when the benefits of liberal education, and the exposure to diverse cultures and norms are available only to the wealthy few, liberal tolerance can be smoothly represented as elite…


Shameless Barack von Obamenburg, Herr Donald & Bipartisan Capitalist Hypocrisy: On How Fascism Happens

“One of the first things we must get rid of is the idea that democracy is tantamount to capitalism.”  — Eleanor Roosevelt By Paul Street CounterPunch (11/16/18) Caravan of Lies Never underestimate the disingenuousness of top U.S.-American politicos.   They truly have no shame. Notice how little the fascistic president Donald Trump has to say any more about the big bad Central American Caravan that was supposedly menacing the United States with a great criminal “invasion”? The U.S. military “heroes” sent down at great taxpayer expense to “defend our border” will be missing Thanksgiving with their families thanks to this fake…


Chris Hedges: Late Stage Capitalism Is Killing America

“We have to overthrow this system. We have to begin to think in revolutionary terms. These people have to go because we can’t afford to endure much more of their destruction; not only what they are doing to human beings but the ecocide they are carrying out.” Link to 35-Minute Video   ***** Chris Hedges On The Rise Of The Corporate Class & The Call To Resistance Link to 27-Minute Video ***** “The capitalist who does no useful work has the economic power to take from a thousand or ten thousand workingmen all they produce, over and above what is…


A Staggeringly Bad Idea’: Outrage As Pelosi Pushes Tax Rule That Would Kneecap The Progressive Agenda’

“This is a very bad idea, House Democrats. It makes no sense whatsoever to give Republicans veto power over progressive legislation.” By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (11/16/18) Nearly three-quarters of the American public and a historic number of Democratic lawmakers support Medicare for All, but the House Democratic leadership is considering using its newly won majority to impose a rule that would “recklessly betray” the grassroots forces that put them in power by making single-payer and other progressive priorities impossible to enact. According to a list of Democratic proposals obtainedby the Washington Post, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)—who is currently fighting back against efforts to prevent her from becoming…


Crass Criminals, Chislers, Cheats & Scammers: The American Ruling Class Give Each Other Awards

George W. Bush Started An Immoral War And Is Receiving The Now Besmirched ‘Liberty Medal’ By Will Bunch Philly.com (11/8/18) At least the timing is exquisite. Former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, are coming to Philadelphia on Sunday night to receive the National Constitution Center’s much-ballyhooed Liberty Medal, which is supposed to be earmarked for leaders “who have strived to secure the blessings of liberty to people around the globe.” This Veterans Day also marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I — the massive and utterly pointless global conflagration that killed tens of millions and alienated an…